Sarah Beth Durst on the cover for The Deepest Blue

I am so excited to share with you the cover for my upcoming novel, THE DEEPEST BLUE!!!

I love the moment a book gets its cover.  Suddenly it feels so much more real — like the story is walking out of my imagination and into the world.  And I am so extremely excited for THE DEEPEST BLUE to be heading into the world because I loved writing it so much.

THE DEEPEST BLUE is set on the islands of Belene, a string of islands besieged by a capricious ocean full of malicious spirits.  Mayara, one of the fearless oyster divers, is about to marry the love of her life when an unnatural storm hits her island, and wild spirits from the sea ravage her village.

To save her loved ones, Mayara reveals a dangerous secret: she has the power to control the spirits.  When the storm ends, she is taken into custody by the queen’s soldiers and is sent, along with other women like her, to an island filled with bloodthirsty nature spirits, and left without food, water, shelter, or any tools except their own instincts and magic.  Whoever survives the Island of Testing will be declared heirs to the queen.

As the text at the top of the cover says, THE DEEPEST BLUE is a Tale of Renthia, which means it’s a brand new story with brand new characters, a standalone epic fantasy set in the world of Renthia but in a different country than the Queens of Renthia trilogy.  You don’t have to have read the Queens trilogy to read this book — though readers who have will recognize one familiar face!

When we were talking about what to put on the cover, my editor at Harper Voyager asked me to send a description of the three deadliest sea monsters in the story.  This is what I sent him:

“Three of them woke, giant monsters that dwarfed imagination.  One was shaped like a dragon with a scaly serpent’s body, blackened wings, and eyes that were white-hot embers.  Another was a kraken, with tentacles the thickness of a ship’s hull.  And the third was a many-headed snake, with a body that could wrap around the city of Yena.”

As you can see, the artist and designer took this description and ran with it.  I am absolutely in awe of the glorious gorgeousness of their work!  Thank you so much to Larry Rostant, the amazing artist who created the magnificent medallion of my leviathans, and to Elsie Lyons, who designed the cover, as well as everyone else at HarperCollins who was involved in its creation.  I am so very grateful and thrilled to have such a gorgeous cover and to be able to share it with you today!

THE DEEPEST BLUE comes out on March 19, 2019, from Harper Voyager.

SARAH BETH DURST is the award-winning author of sixteen fantasy books for adults, teens, and kids, including The Queens of Renthia series, Drink Slay Love, and The Stone Girl’s Story. She won an ALA Alex Award and a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and has been a finalist for SFWA’s Andre Norton Award three times. She is a graduate of Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband, her children, and her ill-mannered cat. For more information, visit her at sarahbethdurst.com.

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